ARGENTINE WINES TO POUR IN 2024
Happy New Year Feliz Año Nuevo from Argentina!
Argentina welcomes 2024 on a well-earned high following last year’s historic debut in the Michelin Guide as South America’s top-producing wine country. First published in 1900, the guidebook provided French motorists with information such as maps, tyre repair and replacement instructions, along with car mechanics listings, hotels, as well as petrol stations throughout France. Subsequent guidebooks were published for other countries beginning in 1904 with Belgium then followed in subsequent years by Algeria and Tunisia in 1907, as well as Northern Italy, Switzerland, Bavaria, and the Netherlands all in 1908. The first English-language version of the French guide was published in 1909, after which came guidebooks for Germany, Portugal and Spain in 1910, then the British Isles, Northern Africa, Southern Italy, along with Corsica in 1911.
Today, the Michelin Guide rates over 30,000 establishments in more than 30 territories across three continents. With more than 30 million Michelin Guides sold worldwide, the search for unforgettable gastronomic experiences is in the palm of your hands. The guide awards restaurants up to three Michelin stars, ranging from a single star awarded in the ‘very good’ category (très bonne catégorie) to the ‘exceptional’ category (meilleures catégorie), for gastronomic excellence. There is also a Green Star guide, established in 2020, which showcases cities, regions and countries, and spotlighting restaurants that incorporate sustainable practices into their daily work.
For its November 2023 debut in Argentina, its first in South America, the Michelin Guide awarded a two-star rating, six one-star ratings, and seven green star ratings divided between the country’s capital Buenos Aires and Argentina’s wine capital, Mendoza. Additionally, seven Bib Gourmand designations, highlighting restaurants with exceptionally good food at moderate prices”, were also bestowed on establishments located in Buenos Aires. There were also another 57 restaurants recommended for the quality of their cuisine with 42 of them located in Buenos Aires and the remaining 15 in Mendoza. To kick-start the year with the very best of what Argentina has to offer, Thursday Food introduces vintages produced by four wineries in Mendoza, whose restaurants are amongst the 19 featured in the 2024 Michelin Guide:
Primeras Viñas Malbec is a 100 per cent Malbec made by Bodega Lagarde from their century-old vineyards planted in 1906 and 1930. Located in Lujan de Cuyo, their restaurant Zonda Cocina de Paisaje received both a Michelin Star and a Michelin Green Star during the 2023 inspections. This Malbec’s colour is a violet red that has both depth and brilliance. On the nose, it displays aromas of black fruits along with red fruits such as plum and blackberry. Subtle floral notes with spicy touches are also exhibited, in addition to delicate notes of vanilla and chocolate from its ageing in oak. In the mouth, the wine shows a solid structure with soft, round tannins that provide a velvety sensation. It has good body with very good concentration of fruit flavours, balancing between acidity and sweetness in a remarkable way. Its finish is long and persistent, leaving a sensation of elegance and complexity.
Tonel 14 Chardonnay is a 100 per cent varietal produced by Bodega Los Toneles in Mendoza, Argentina. This Chardonnay is greenish yellow in colour and exhibits intense citrus and floral notes on the nose. In the mouth, it is balanced and fresh with very good acidity. Abrasado Restaurant at Bodega Los Toneles is a featured restaurant in the 2024 Michelin Guide.
Quimera Red Blend by Achaval Ferrer Winery comprises 45 per cent Malbec, 18 per cent Cabernet Franc, 18 per cent Merlot and 19 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon. This red blend is a wine with very deep nuances that are heuristic, acidic and delicate. On the nose, it expresses aromas that range from notes of scree and earth, as well as dark fruit, to delicate accents of rosemary. In the mouth, it has a wide, almost feminine mouthfeel and delicious acidity. Quimero Bistro at Achaval Ferrer Winery also made the list of featured restaurants in the 2024 Michelin Guide.
Renacer Merlot Rosé is a 100 per cent Merlot produced by Bodega Renacer in the Gualtallary area of the Uco Valley from 20-year-old vines. This blush wine is pink in colour with silver tones. On the nose it has a first impact of strawberries along with cherries, followed by sheet tomato and fine parsley. In the mouth, it is acidic and fresh before becoming somewhat minty as the flavour lingers. This bodega’s Renacer Restaurant is featured in the 2024 Michelin Guide as one of the 19 recommended eateries in Mendoza, Argentina.
Michelin Guide‘s debut in Argentina solidifies this country’s status as a world-renowned destination for gastronomic excellence. The fact that it is the first-ever Hispanic Latin American country to be featured in the prestigious guide is a testament to the importance of its dynamic culinary scene. The world of gastronomy celebrates Argentina’s latest accolade and so do we. Salud!